WHILE owning a pet brings you immediate joy and love, pet ownership is a huge responsibility.
Proper pet care is the basis of responsible pet ownership. As such, pet owners need to first understand the lifetime commitment to a furry family member that depends on them for its health and well-being.
Unfortunately, only 35% of pets visit the vet as per the ideal recommended frequency of at least once a year, based on a survey conducted nationwide by pet health through nutrition brand Royal Canin last December.
In fact, the survey found that 15% of pets never visit the vet at all and 40% of pet owners only see the need to bring their pets to the vet when their pets are unwell.
This current situation among Malaysian dog owners shows that many pets may suffer from treatable illnesses and health issues as not all Malaysian pet owners are aware of the value
of seeking professional advice from vets who can advise on the best pet care practices as they grow through every stage.
To address these low numbers, Royal Canin is running the Take Your Pet to The Vet campaign globally to raise awareness on the importance of veterinary care in pets for healthier lives. As part of this campaign, Royal Canin held a one-day Paws Day Out event, its first physical engagement activity with pet owners since the pandemic.
“As a health through nutrition company, Royal Canin aims to make a better world for pets by delivering tangible health benefits to cats and dogs through precise nutrition and services while promoting the well-being of cats and dogs.
“Since the pandemic, dog adoption rates during times of social isolation have increased, according to published articles. While it is great to see that pet owners start to realise that pets play a crucial part to help us through such difficult times, it goes back to our belief that pets make our world better and in return, we want to make a better world for our pets.
“With that, we are dedicated to help improve the health of pets across the globe by emphasising the need for preventive care – an often forgotten yet crucial habit for pets’ health and well-being through engagement activities like Paws Day Out,” said Royal Canin Southeast Asia cluster general manager Francois-Regis Poncon at the Paws Day Out activity held at Central Park in Bandar Utama, Selangor.
The event saw pet lovers and pet owners with their pets participating in fun-filled activities while some spoke to the available veterinarians about their pet’s health and nutrition options.
Additionally, digital healthcare vouchers, worth RM60 each, were also distributed to pet owners, which can be used for veterinary treatment and services at participating veterinary clinics under the Royal Canin Club mobile application.
When asked if the cost of veterinary treatment and services influences the frequency of pet owners bringing their pets to the vet, Royal Canin Malaysia market head Teh Meng Li responded that it may not be the primary factor.
“The survey indicated that only 15% of pet owners agreed that veterinary bills are not affordable, in which I believe that pet owners generally may not shy away from the cost of veterinary treatment when they learn the value behind these services.
“For instance, vaccinating pets against common infectious diseases does not only significantly reduce the risk of pets catching nasty diseases, but it also ensures pet owners do not need to spend much in treating these diseases since they are preventable in the first place.
“We all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, thus, our aim to nurture preventive healthcare practices and screening for diseases at the early stage, instead of only treating them when our pets are unwell,” she said.
Besides the Paws Day Out event for dogs, there will be an event of such for cat owners at the end of the year while Royal Canin is also constantly engaging with pet owners via social media and educative live sessions to highlight the importance of veterinary visits.